May 3rd, 2004

“…Only Less Personal.”

Well, folks, you are reading the ramblings of an idiot, and I have proof.

I ran out of gas on the way home from visiting some friends. I was 30 miles north of Lafayette on I-65 and my car just stopped running. I drifted off to the side of the interstate and was able to restart the van and go for about another mile before it died again.

I called the State Police to let them know my van was going to be there while I went in search of some gas, and they said, “Please stay with your vehicle. We have someone on the way.” “Great!” I thought. “They’ll bring me gas and I’ll be on my way!”

About twenty minutes later, a trooper shows up. “Are you sure you’re out of gas?”

I was. He had me put it in neutral and pushed me farther over to the side of the road, then pointed me to a spot between his vehicle and mine. “Stand right there, sir.” I learned long ago not to argue with people who are a) helping you out, and b) carrying guns, so I stood where he pointed. I watched as he went to the front passenger seat of his car and moved some things to the back seat. As he came back towards me, he was putting on a pair of gloves.

“I need to pat you down.”

“Pat me down?”

“It’s like frisking, only less ‘personal’.”

He had me interlock my fingers behind my back as he checked to make sure I wasn’t carrying anything dangerous. To anyone driving past, I’m sure it looked like your standard everyday bust of an idiot in a minivan. When he had ascertained my biggest weapon was my sheer stupidity, he let me get in the car. He drove me 5 miles to a gas station and left me there with some business cards for tow trucks in the area. “I’m not allowed to transport fuel in my vehicle,” he said. The smart aleck in me immediately thought, “What does your vehicle run on then?” but I was able to suppress him.

The lady at the gas station was more than happy to let me use their gas can, but her husband had the car and she didn’t know when he’d be back to give me a ride.

Then a customer walked in, and I did a dumb thing: I asked him for a ride.

After much pleading on my part and reassurances that I was not a lunatic and that, yes, I would gladly give my information to the nice lady behind the counter, he agreed and took me and my little gas can the five miles back to my van. Well, he took me to the north-bound side of the road opposite my car, but that was fine. I played my own personal game of Frogger and got over to my van safely, put the gas in, and drove back to the gas station to fill up and retrieve my driver’s license. It cost me $30, but I didn’t care. I also bought a bottle of Nestea Lemon Iced Tea, an experiment for me, as I normally only drink raspberry iced tea. They didn’t have raspberry, and I was thirsty.

I got back into my van and headed down the road, happy to be on my way. I opened the tea…and it spilled all over me. Did you know that tea stains jeans? I didn’t, but I do now.

But you know what? That tea was pretty good.

2 Comments on ““…Only Less Personal.””

  1. Bill T says:

    Why did the officer pat you down? Impressive.

    As for your tea-stained jeans: that sucks.

  2. Scootles says:

    That's bizzare. I'm glad you got home, but it's strange that he patted you down. But I guess it's understandable procedure. After all, you look quite threatening.

    And here's an aside – I just discovered your lj-feed and I'll be reading your journal more now. :)

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